River Plate, Boca Juniors fans fly to Madrid on separate planes for CL final
River Plate's Lucas Pratto celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against arch-rival Boca Juniors during the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final on Nov. 11, 2018, at La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. EPA-EFE FILE/Juan Ignacio Roncoroni
Buenos Aires, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Aerolineas Argentinas said Tuesday it was adding "two special flights," one for River Plate fans and another for supporters of Boca Juniors, so followers of the arch-rival Buenos Aires-based clubs would not have to be on the same aircraft for the flight to Madrid, where the teams will play in the Copa Libertadores final at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
"The idea was to have a special plane for Boca fans and another for River fans, so each group would have room to party. It's two flights that will leave on the eighth (Saturday, Dec. 8) and return on Monday, but with three hours' difference between them," Aerolineas Argentinas spokesman Marcelo Cantin told the TyC Sports channel.
"The idea is to let each team have its own space to celebrate, its space to share. It's a long flight to share a small space and the best thing is to let each one relax with friends," Cantin said.
The state-owned carrier's two special flights will also return from the Spanish capital with three hours' difference between them to avoid having rival fans encounter each other at the airport, Cantin said.
"These are two special flights that are being added to Aerolineas's schedule. Two flights that were added today and will fly the same route with a difference of three hours," Cantin said, adding that tickets were being sold only by telephone to ensure fans got on the correct flight.
The first leg of the series was played on Nov. 11 at Boca's La Bombonera Stadium and ended in a 2-2 draw. Away fans had been barred from both legs of the final as a precautionary measure.
Fans hurled projectiles in a Nov. 24 attack on Boca's team bus as it headed toward River Plate's El Monumental Stadium, shattering some of the vehicle's windows.
Police used pepper spray to disperse the assailants, affecting some Boca players.
The South American Soccer Confederation (Conmebol), which organizes the Copa Libertadores, postponed the match.
Conmebol decided on Nov. 29 that Real Madrid's stadium would be the venue for the match between River and crosstown arch-rival Boca Juniors.
The Copa Libertadores final is scheduled to be played on Sunday at 8:30 pm at the Spanish capital's Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, the home of Real Madrid, Conmebol said.